Many years ago, I made the determination that if you play in a public dungeon or even at a private party, you can expect to be interrupted or at least distracted during some point of the scene. It is quite likely to happen even in groups with a good sense of dungeon etiquette (so when it doesn't, be pleasantly surprised!). I found myself moving more and more towards private play in order to avoid these interruptions as I enjoy playing in an edgy way that requires my full attention. If I do play in a public setting, one of My first priorities is informing DM's of My intent to play so they can monitor the onlookers as well as not interrupt Me themselves.
This past Saturday night, I attended one of the last remaining events of Atlanta's public dungeon 1763. It was ridiculously crowded as the Atlanta Community flocks to say their goodbyes. I was relieved to see several DMs on staff that I am well acquainted with (have even played with in years past) and alerted them (four of them total) to My play plans for the evening. While exhibitionism and shocking the masses is a great love of mine, I chose a corner play area hoping that would minimize anyone walking behind Me.
The first interruptions came from onlookers. Simply, they were too close. And to be fair to them, there wasn't much room in the crowded dungeon for them to give much more space than they already were. A couple was also waiting to use the space when I finished and the hovering distracted Me from My sub. I began to feel uncomfortable, so I called the scene to regroup with My sub and reevaluate the situation.
I socialized with some of the dungeon staff, reminiscing on old times, for an hour or two hoping the late hour would clear out some more play space. Eventually, I found an open bench where I could work on My sub a bit more and give him a proper come down. We had been making good progress- connecting and focused despite the crowd- when over walks a youngish looking guy with a red DM badge. We locked eyes and I knew he was coming to interrupt My scene. He started speaking to Me, but I couldn't hear him over the music and noisy crowd.
"What?" I said. I shifted My entire focus to interpreting this man's words.
"Does he have a non-verbal safe word?" the DM repeated.
It took Me a second for that to register. I look down at My sub happily drooling out of a penis gag. Ohhhh. He's gagged. Right. Public dungeon rules are different everywhere you go and vary play party to play party. But seriously?
I will admit that I rolled My eyes and huffed a little in frustration. Luckily My sub that night is the experienced sort and knew what was going on. I looked down at him and said, "Well. What's your non- verbal safe word?" He obediently gave a power fist clearly and strongly into the air with a little bit of amusement in his eyes. Satisfied, the DM left us to it. I saw him across the room telling another DM (who I also didn't recognize) the "safeword" and they settled in to watch us play.
At first, I was irritated. I'll openly admit to it. The entire point of My arrival conversations with DMs was to avoid this very thing.
It's already My belief that if you choose to play in public, you should plan to be interrupted. Why get mad about a thing you know is going to happen?
Additionally, having been a DM on occasion myself, I found it hard to be too angry at the guy's question. Clearly the DM shift had changed for the evening to a crew unfamiliar to Me and My style of play. And obviously this guy was just trying to do his job and keep everyone safe and consensual. I do not think he was rude- in fact he seemed to be pretty cool about everything, not aggressive or overassertive in his position. I have to commend him, if I'm honest, for the way he conducted himself.
In the end, My sub and I did manage to complete our scene together and I have to say I had an enjoyable evening overall. Rather than writing a rant about being interrupted at the club, I wanted to redirect to a positive experience with a DM I've never met before. Thank you (whoever you are) for taking My annoyance in stride and for volunteering your time. Definitely one of the more positive interruptions I've ever experienced and a worth noting in My opinion.